post written by: Marc Chernoff

12 Stressful Things to Stop Tolerating

12 Stressful Things To Stop Tolerating

Needless tolerations can bleed you dry of energy and make it impossible for you to function effectively.  You can’t live a happy, successful, fulfilling life if you’re spending all your energy tolerating things that shouldn’t be tolerated.  Sometimes you need to put your foot down.

In our line of work, Angel and I hear from hundreds of coaching clients, book readers and blog subscribers every month who have been tolerating the wrong things for too long.  If you feel like you have been too, here are some things to stop tolerating in your life:

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  1. The decision to settle for mediocrity. – It’s not always about trying to fix something that’s broken.  Sometimes it’s about starting over and creating something better.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.  Sometimes growing up means growing apart from old habits, relationships, and situations, and finding something new that truly moves you – something that gets you so excited you can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning.  That’s what life is all about.  Don’t settle.
  2. Your own negative thinking. – Your mind is your sacred space.  You can close the windows and darken your space, or you can open the windows and let light in.  It’s your choice.  The sun is always shining on some part of your life.  What do you typically think about?  How far you’ve come, or how far you have to go?  Your strengths, or your weaknesses?  The best that could happen, or the worst that might come to be?  Pay attention to your self-talk.  Because maybe, just maybe, the only thing that needs to shift in order for you to experience more happiness, more love, and more success, is your way of thinking.  (Angel and I discuss this in detail in the “Self-Love” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
  3. Other people’s negativity. – If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself.  You do not have control over what others say and do; but you do have control over whether or not you will allow them to say and do these things to you. You alone can deny their poisonous words and actions from invading your heart and mind.  Remember, if you do not respect your sacred inner space, no one else will either.
  4. Unhealthy relationships. – Choose your relationships wisely.  Being alone will never cause as much loneliness as the wrong relationships.  Be with people who know your worth.  You don’t need lots of friends to be happy; just a few real ones who appreciate you for who you are.  Oftentimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength.  We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth, but because we finally realize our own worth.
  5. Dishonesty. – Inner peace is being able to rest at night knowing you haven’t used or taken advantage of anyone to get to where you are in life.  Living a life of honesty creates peace of mind, and peace of mind is priceless.  Period.  Don’t be dishonest and don’t put up with people who are.
  6. A work environment or career field you hate. – If it doesn’t feel right, don’t settle on the first or second career field you dabble in.  Keep searching.  Eventually you will find work you love to do.  If you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, don’t stop.  You’re on to something big.  Because hard work isn’t hard when you concentrate on your passions.
  7. Being disorganized and unprepared. – Get up 30 minutes earlier so you don’t have to rush around like a mad man.  That 30 minutes will help you avoid speeding tickets, tardiness and other unnecessary headaches.  Clear the clutter.  Get rid of stuff you don’t use.  Read David Allen’s book Getting Things Done  for some practical organizational guidance.
  8. Inaction. – The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing; growing happens when what you know changes how you live.  You can’t change anything or make any sort of progress by sitting back and thinking about it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  The best time to start is now.
  9. The lingering of unfinished business. – There’s nothing more stressful than the perpetual lingering of unfinished business.  Stop procrastinating.  Start taking action to tie loose ends.  Putting something off instantly makes it harder and scarier.
  10. The choice to mull over past mistakes and regrets. – If you feel like your ship is sinking, it might be a good time to throw out the stuff that’s been weighing it down.  The next time you decide to unclutter your life and clean up your space, start with the things that are truly useless, like old regrets, shame, and anger.  Let it go.  You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep rereading your previous one.
  11. A mounting pile of personal debt. – Financial debt causes stress and heartache.  Live a comfortable life, not a wasteful one.  Do not buy stuff you do not need.  Do not spend to impress others.  Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects.  Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you.  Always live well below your means.  (Read The Millionaire Next Door).
  12. Your reluctance to say what you need to say. – Everyone has this little watchdog inside their head.  It’s always there watching you.  It was born and raised by your family, friends, coworkers and society at large, and its sole purpose is to watch you and make sure you stay in line.  And once you become accustomed to the watchdog’s presence, you begin to think it’s opinion of what’s acceptable and unacceptable are absolute truths.  But they’re not truths; they’re just other people’s opinions.  Remember, the watchdog is just a watchdog, he just watches.  He can’t actually control you.  He can’t do anything about it if you decide to rise up and go against the grain.  No, you shouldn’t start shouting obscenities and acting like a fool.  But you must say what you need to say, when you need to say it.  It may be your only chance to do so.  Don’t censor yourself.  Speak the truth – your truth – always.

Photo by: White Ribbons

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  • Great advice! I’m loving 1 - 4.

  • Truly inspirational! So glad to have your blog and you book in my life. Thank you so much :)

  • I learned these lessons years ago, but these are timely reminders. The most important thing is to listen to your gut feelings. They are usually right.


  • I love your posts. The one’s that resonate with me, I print and keep in a notebook. When I am feeling unsure, I take out the notebook and read the posts that I printed and I am able to make truthful decisions.
    Thank you for your wise words.

  • You guys rock!!! Another great read!!! Just bought Emotional Freedom, David Allen’s book is next.

    Thanks for the inspiring push every week.

  • “Speak the truth – your truth – always.”

    Right on! :-)

  • Perfect read for me today!!! Thank you.

  • It’s about time for some emotional “Spring cleaning” ;-) Thanks for these insights.

  • Thank you for this article. I am becoming less tolerant of the demand for quantity over quality - at warp speed. Who came up with the idea that we are machines? Who decided that I have to compete with one? Enough!

    I work better, am kinder, healthier and happier when I can live at the pace of a human being.

  • Your writing gives me plenty of fodder to chew on. Thanks for taking the time to inspire.

  • Still dealing with 8 and 9 heavily. Love this article btw. :)

  • A perfect reminder for the day! Love 8 & 9, time to get moving!

  • This short read packs a lot of solid advice. Much of it I already live my life by, but there’s a couple points that I need to address. Thank you for this.

  • Great stuff as always! You guys are easily one of my favorite websites to visit for posts just like this.

    Numbers 1, 4, 10, and 12 are speaking to me!

    Thanks for all you do.

  • So inspirational! One is never too old to learn and change your view or your mind!

  • Love every single piece of advice given here! Thank you!

  • Very timely for me. Thank you.

  • I had started implementing point no. 4 few months back ;

    “Unhealthy relationships. – Choose your relationships wisely. Being alone will never cause as much loneliness as the wrong relationships.”

    Believe me I have never felt so better. Today I might be alone but definitely not lonely.

    Thanks for such beautiful reminders of what not to do in LIFE

  • When I read this it felt like you were sitting right here beside me, telling me the things I need to hear. Thanks for that. This is one of my favorite posts you have written.

    with love, K.

  • Thank you. Simply that…

  • I look forward to your blogs. They are helping me build strength and change my outlook. You’re wonderful! Thank you.

  • Love love love your articles. Such simple yet powerful truths and excellent reminders. Thank you for sharing with the world! Please keep them coming!

  • When I see one of your posts in my email in the morning it is the first thing I read! And it always helps inspire my day. Thank you for coming into my life and my head. Common sense in uncommon times.

  • Very insightful and perfect for today. Love your blog. x

  • Awesome, as always! Thanks for sharing…

  • Marc and Angel - always looking forward to your blog updates and always sharing with several of my friends. Thank you for this and for taking the time to write these every week. It is really appreciated and helpful.

  • I should read this over and over again using these words in my daily life like a “mantra”. Thank you for the amazing guidance and to share the wisdom. <3 your blog.

  • I was thinking of settling until I read this: The decision to settle for mediocrity. – It’s not always about trying to fix something that’s broken. Sometimes it’s about starting over and creating something better. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly. Sometimes growing up means growing apart from old habits, relationships, and situations, and finding something new that truly moves you – something that gets you so excited you can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning. That’s what life is all about. Don’t settle.

    Thank you!

  • Number 10. The choice to mull over past mistakes and regrets.
    This one can really keep people stuck. past mistakes are learning experience, not mistakes.

    When we look at them with the right attitude we can let go of them and move forward.

    Great tips for relieving the stress in life.

  • I’m so thankful that I found your blog. It’s a site I can’t wait to read in the mornings for motivation.

  • Wow!
    Such sound, insightful, timely advice…and so thought-provoking.
    Thank you.

  • Perfect advice. You two continue to inspire me. Keep up the good work.

  • I usually like your texts and advice very much, but those twelve… Oh, I just LOVE them! :)

  • I love your inspirational and educational thoughts. They hit home. I am printing every one and putting in a folder. This last one applied to me entirely. Each thought I felt was directed to me. My boss saw one print out on my desk and shared it with his social club. Thank you.

  • I needed this today. Thank you very much. :)

  • Once again, a beautiful reminder and timely read! Thank you..

    *greetings from Singapore! “)

  • @All: Thanks for making us smile with your positive, uplifting comments. And thanks for keeping the conversation alive.

    We hope everyone is having a productive, enjoyable week.

  • #12! So tired of walking on eggs and biting my tongue. I need to find a way to diplomatically state when I don’t agree with someone else. Think I’ll be mulling #12 over for awhile and figuring out how to incorporate my own true self in to my life, without feeling bad or offending others. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Heavenly list of “non-stressors”. Just imagine if we could all live by these points. Thank you for sharing :)

  • I think stress is a big part of everyone’s life nowadays, so great tips to help us relieve some of it.

  • You two are such smart folks. Thanks for the motivation.

  • I absolutely love your tips and lists and frequently share them in Facebook. I like to print your lists to read later and some I keep as reminders to myself.

  • Even though we all know these things, it is good to read them and to reinforce these thought patterns and make it a part of our life. We are all works in progress and I hope that I will stop allowing many of these things into my life.. Im working on it ..

  • If you can handle any emotion or body sensation inside of you, then you will also be able to handle anything that happens outside of you. It is really the inner reaction that you fear. If you are ok with what is inside you, you don’t need to hide it from others. You do not need to try to appear perfect for others if you are already ok with yourself. Imagine what this can do for fear of failure, rejection and social anxiety. Fear of failure is responsible for much of the negative thinking that leads to inaction and an anxiety. Free yourself from this trap by changing your perception of failure. Remind yourself daily that every failure is leaening experience and stepping stone to success. Remind yourself that you have the ability to accomplish the objectives you have set your mind to and that you are now able to move thorough discouregment and dissappointment of any setback.

  • Thank you for these! A lot of these I really need to take in and take action on. Thanks for giving me something to think about.

  • I like what you said, Nijaz. As I read it, I also wondered about “fear of success.” Sometimes people don’t feel like they deserve good things, so they self-sabotage, and/or downplay their successes. Think of the person who can’t take a compliment…

    As always on this site, a post to get me thinking!

  • This is one of many of your lists that I’m sharing to FB, saving, and printing. Thanks for continuing to inspire us!!

  • This site is truly awesome. It is my go to place for inspiration… I am going through some changes in life and it is very inspiring. Continue the good work.

  • Dear Marc and Angel,
    I have been searching, unknowingly, for just this sort of affirmation. Sometimes there is just the right thing that is needed at just the right time, and for me, right now, your post was it. It has satisfied a craving in me that needed to be better directed. Thank you for this insight.
    - Vikki

  • Some good advice from this site and some great comments i think. Yes life can be stressful i agree. And some people make it even worse for others. I now do not tolerate these type of people, i distance myself from them. Two people i know who shall be nameless push up my stress levels. They are always telling me stories about people and most of it is negative. Everytime i saw these two people it was a different story every week i suffer with migraine and i am sure after seeing them a migraine came on. You don’t have to put up with it do what i have done destress by moving away from them firstly tell them that you are fed up with it all and if they don’t stop it distance yourself or stop seeing them altogether i have and i feel much better for it now. I have made new friends and it is a pleasure to be with them.

  • Dear Marc and Angel,

    Beautiful Beautiful site. I want to thank you people so much for taking the time to write these, and more importantly, for sharing these with us. For some of us, who find life very very hard to live at this moment, your words are a source of hope, and optimism, and confidence. That is what we need the most. Thank you.

  • Marion at Liss Hants UK
    August 30th, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Thank you so much for your site and wisdom. Believe it or not, at age 68 I still need to be reminded of all this.

  • So inspiring! im glad i found your page. it really helps!

  • I stumbled upon your site in a time of need… You’ve cleared my thoughts and put my mind at ease today. This was exactly what i needed - just a little support and positive feed back without judgement. So grateful for what you do, please don’t ever stop. You have no idea how much you’ve helped me.

  • I love this!

  • This is going to be required reading for all my Coaching Clients from now on! Awesome stuff! I really appreciate that you cover several different areas of stress, rather than all just one topic like Money, or Relationships.

  • My daughter Nikki emailed me the link to this article; I am so thankful to her for it, this is going to be my “go to” website for research into self-help. These step-by-step’s are very easy that anyone can follow. So user friendly. Thanks!

  • Number 12 is absolutely integral and very well explained in metaphor. Thank you for always hitting the nail just right, on the head.

  • Thank you for this advice. I really needed it today. Also, I just purchased your book and I’m looking forward to reading a little bit of it each day to keep myself on track.

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